Chapter 1: looking upstream

Summary

The phantom-wealth casino economy show systemic failure, as evidenced by:

- an economic crisis caused by a financial system that favors speculation over investment in production of useful goods and services. This causes unpayable debts for governments and the common man, decimates pensions, and causes bubbles  in house prices that inevitably burst, with devastating consequences all over the world.

- a social crisis of growing inequality between nations and within nations. The rich get richer. The common man's wages fall relative to the cost of living. This undermines our health, communities and the legitimacy of our governments. It erodes social cohesion and feeds violence.

- an environmental crisis: climate change, freshwater shortages, soil erosion, depletion of fisheries, created by the dogma of continous growth of consumption. This leads to climate refugees, social breakdown, and reduced capacity of the Earth to support life. 

David Korten gives six criteria of true economic health:


"1. provide every person with the opportunity for a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life;
2. restore and maintain the vitality of earth's natural systems;
3. nurture the relationships of strong, caring communities;
4. encourage economic cooperation in service to the public interest and democratically determined priorities;
5. allocate resources equitably to socially and environmentally beneficial uses; and
6. root economic power in people- and place-based communities to support the democratic ideal of one-person, one-vote sovereignty."

Questions from the workbook will be posted on the discussion forum. Feel free to bring in related questions or your own story. Keep it concise for readability.

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